Carol ★★★★★

Why is it that same sex romances always make for compelling, beautifully-made cinema?
Not that I’m complaining.

Carol is an extraordinary effort on so many levels. Rooney Mara & Cate Blanchett assert themselves forces to be reckoned with; they make the most out of every single word and gesture that even just watching their eyes and hands alone is a rewarding experience. Unquestionably it helps that the graceful cinematography highlights their performances so well. There are so many shots that appear simple but you can so much is conveyed by the precise and effective mise-en-scène and yet it all still manages to be so pleasing and alluring to the eye.

The overall close attention to detail by Todd Haynes is evident from the very beginning and remains firm throughout, which is absolutely pivotal for the lasting resonance this film has. The film plays it subtle and subdued for the most part, so that when certain scenes and payoffs take place, they sweep you off your feet. Admittedly I am a real sucker for scenes that are repeated, à la Inside Llewyn Davis, but god almighty was I gobsmacked when a scene was repeated in this. It was then that I realised the true power of this film and affirmed that I was watching cinema.

Lastly, Cate Blanchett standing alone smoking a cigarette with an epic ash length is the biggest mood ever.

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